Dr Pravin Togadia
These days a lot of RTs are in the news. Well, here I do not mean ‘ReTweet’ by RTs. That’s another story for yet another article. Here, RTs is ‘Right To’. Right to Information, Right to Reject etc. Some national TVs too increase their TRPs by creating programmes like ‘Right to… Whatever…”. Now, there is a dire need for ‘RTR’ that is ‘Right to RIGHTS’.
Here, I don’t mean Human Rights. We have already discussed ‘Human Rights for Hindus in Bharat’ and ‘Human Rights for Hindus Abroad’ in this column earlier. If you give a web-search with these very headings, sure, you will find both these articles. Going ahead, now we need Right to Rights. Bharat’s Constitution has given fundamental rights. I don’t even want to discuss them here because with reference to Hindus, even their right to the fundamental rights is often rejected and this will be yet another debate.
Apart from the fundamental rights, there are other rights which are must too. ‘Right to Food’ and ‘Right to Water’ are two such important ones. It sounds ridiculous that even after 65 years of post British rule, a large number of citizens in Bharat go without food and a larger number yet go without water – drinking water, water for daily usage and also water for agriculture. Water (and other national / natural resources) for industry is a gigantic maize which we will discuss some other time. Data on hunger deaths, mal-nourished kids / women / the elderly and so on is faceless. Data shocks, but it is faceless. When we travel the remote and not so remote places in Bharat, we see shades of ‘No Right to Food’ and ‘No Right to Water’. However much we try to turn a blind eye to the disparity in availability of food and water, it is a stark reality in Bharat.
Then there is Right to Health. There is a large group that pops a pill with even the slightest headache whereas for the serious illnesses there is lack of medication. Health is not an isolated island or a theme park. Hygiene and health go hand in hand. Open gutters, stagnated water pools in residential areas, heaps of garbage with all sorts of animals and insects around, open toilets, no wretched ways of sewerage disposal – either in the sea or in rivers or nowhere – mosquitoes and flies becoming national birds, no cleaning of roads/lanes and so on. These unhygienic conditions all over cause basic health problems, spread epidemics and also precipitate chronic diseases like Asthma, allergies, other respiratory problems, fevers etc. On top of it no HMS (Health Management Systems) in place in villages and even in cities. If they are, they are not affordable. There goes our RTH—Right to Health!
Then there is Right to Shelter. Indian Constitution has surely given us the Right to Property, but it does not assure that every Indian citizen must have own roof over his/her head! From Rajasthan and Kutch deserts to the thickly populated Metro cities, citizens of this 65 years of post British ‘India’ and of the most ancient living civilisation don’t even have these basic needs fulfilled? Food, water, health and shelter are not only the basic needs but they also are the rights.
Governments which cannot fulfill these, have no right to sit in the chair of authority – forget again asking for votes. And it applies to all Governments – Central and states. Governments, which accept that there people who are deprived of these basic needs and Governments which claim that every citizen has these needs fulfilled, are equally useless for Bharat. There is a limit to being conceited saying, ‘I have given all to my people’ or being ‘Oh! I am trying my level best’ types. Enough! It will be a shame to Bharat’s glorious civilisation if for such basic needs Bharat’s people are on the streets! Social, socio-religious organisations like ours, Sangh, many saints, NGOs try their best to make up somewhere what Governments are not doing. But that’s not the way. There has to be punishment to the Governments, meaning, people who run the Governments as politicians cum Ministers or heads of the Governments. Hunger death, death due to lack of medical treatment, illness due to dirty water/air etc should be treated as murder.
There are other rights, which make a nation glorious. Right to Culture is one such right. Culture includes religious expressions, practices, worships, languages, arts, knowledge, family systems and more importantly – samskars. Bharat is not 65 year old ‘India’! Bharat has own rich traditions. This culture is an essential right to every Bharatiya. But these days this culture is ridiculed by the so-called seculars who equate nudity in Hussain’s paintings with that of Ajanta and Khajuraho! Lack of knowledge and sensitivity toward Bharat’s art and culture is not the reason for this, but considering oneself holier than thou and garnering verbal support to such a nasty behaviour on Twitter and a few national media are in these days. Hindus are a majority in Bharat and they have their feelings. Ridiculing these feelings is ridiculing Bharat’s culture. This is not freedom of Expression, this is being nasty to Hindus. No more! Right to Culture means ‘Bharat’s Culture’; not invaders’ culture (!) So, a Hindu little girl does have a freedom to put a ‘Bindi’ (tikka) or ‘Mehendi’ – no convent school should punish her for this. On a larger sphere, Governments who do not have respect for Hindus have no right to rule here. Ridiculing saints, organisations that try to save temple, cows, etc bygones now. It falls under Right to Culture and Hindus will exercise their right democratically. Those who hurt their cultural ethos through words, art, new laws will face socio-political downfall. Hindus have their own freedom of expression and if speaking for the rights of Hindus is treated as ‘inflammatory’ (bhadkaau) and speaking for minorities is treated as secular then Hindus in Bharat are seeing through the political paradox in it and it will show in their votes.
There are, in fact many more such Rights. Right to natural resources, right to national resources etc. If elections are won on majority then majority be it everywhere, So, majority has the 1st right to Bharat’s National and Natural Resources and not the minority as a so-called secular Indian PM once had said. We are Bharat. We are Hindus. We have to exercise our RTR that is Right to all Rights that we deserve. We are not a 25 crore vote bank sufficient for any party to win; we are over 100 crore strong majority and we will exercise our right to Security, Prosperity and Dignity. Those who do not respect these rights of ours, have no place in Bharat.
(The writer can be contacted at [email protected] )